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How to Set Realistic Weight Loss Goals

Updated on October 17, 2016
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Imtiaz is a registered pharmacist with 8+ years of experience in freelance medical writing. He holds a Bachelor's in Pharmacy.

Start diet today
Start diet today | Source


Weight loss is not an easy process to go through. You will face hundreds of challenges before dropping some pounds from your body.

So if you're repeatedly failing to stick with a weight loss plan, don't lose hope. We often fail to do what we planned. Failure to stick up with a weight loss plan so can't be an exception.

But have you ever thought why you failed to carry on?

Perhaps you never set realistic weight loss goals!

Steps for Setting Goals

  • Make a commitment
  • Set some small realistic daily goals
  • Set some weekly weight loss goals
  • Adopt a healthy eating style

Why a Realistic Weight Loss Goal is an Important Issue?

Overweight people usually like to become more slimmer than they possibly could be. They also tend to get results within a shortest possible time. Thus, they quickly get frustrated and give up the hope when they find things aren't going as planned.

Research has also shown that such assumptions are actually true. A study done by the researchers from the University of Pennsylvania reported that on an average, participants who were overweight set a goal of dropping 32% of their body mass. No doubt, their expectations were very unrealistic!

So what's the solution?

If you really want to drop some pounds from your body, you need to set some goals that are practical and realistic. You should also make sure that you're making real changes to your lifestyle and eating habits.

However, don't go for a fad diet or weight loss program that promises fast and easy weight loss. I can guarantee it won't work: There is no shortcut for losing weight. Accept the reality, then it would much easier for you to take the next step.

Do you believe realistic goals can help to stick with a weight loss plan?

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Make a Commitment

You must have a rock solid determination and firm commitment in order to achieve your weight loss goals.

Ask yourself, do you really want to drop those extra pounds?

If yes, then make a commitment that you're ready to face any challenges, and no matter what happens you'll stick with your objectives. Your weight loss goals may have an impact on your lifestyle and relationship with others. So, think about that as well. Also, make some alternative plans to deal other stresses of your life.

Before and After Photo of a Dieter
Before and After Photo of a Dieter | Source

Do you think small daily goals can help?

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Set Some Small Realistic Goals

To reach your weight loss goals, you need to make at least a six-month or one-year long-term plan. It would be unrealistic to assume that you could lose 10-12 pounds per week.

Start with some small daily goals and increase those gradually. Think about something that is possible for you with minimum efforts.

You can start by increasing your regular physical activity. For example, you can plan to walk for 20 minutes today or do the household work for tomorrow.

Set Some Weekly Weight Loss Goals

Think about some weekly goals that are practical and possible. I believe planning to lose 1-2 pounds (0.5 – 1 kilogram) per week is a realistic and attainable goal.

Mathematically, one pound (0.5 kilogram) of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. So, to drop a pound of fat per week, you need to burn at least 3,500 calories. It means (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories) you have to burn at least 500 more calories per day than you consume.

No doubt, this is an achievable target, as you only require either decreasing calorie intake or increasing physical activity to reach the calorie-burning goal.

Weight Loss Spa Menus
Weight Loss Spa Menus | Source

Adopt a Healthy Eating Style

Burn more calories than you consume -- the simple formula you should remember in order to lose weight. However, to lose more calories, don't go for extreme ways like fasting, water diet, or lemon juice diet. For successful, long-term benefit, you must choose a weight loss plan that follows a healthy, calorie-controlled diet combined with exercise.

Carefully prepare a diet plan, and change your eating style gradually. Make sure your body gets adequate calories according to your height and weight. Include vegetables and fruits as a primary source of calories. Divide your calorie intake into 5-6 meals. Try replacing 3-4 meals with light foods, such as juices, snacks, fruit blends, or soups, so that you can stop unwanted hunger.

Say no to fast foods and junk foods, as they contain little or no nutritious value and are high in fat, sugar, salt, and calories. Also, you need to know that these foods are considered one of the major causes for overweight. Junk foods often contain a high amount of saturated fats that are somewhat impossible to absorb or digest properly. As a result, these fats remain in the body and increase extra weight.

Weight Loss Pyramid

The Weight Loss Pyramid
The Weight Loss Pyramid | Source

Be Your Own Weight Loss Guru

Be realistic! Never think, except a program, you can't achieve your weight loss goals. Just think for a while, what a diet program could actually provide. The bitter truth is nothing so crucial. More or less, it will provide you with a guideline for exercise and healthy eating, and an opportunity to engage with a community of dieters.

But you can do these by yourself, though the later might be a bit difficult if you're an introvert. Anyway, for weight loss, it is not recommended that a weightwatcher must exercise and engage with a group, so don't worry.

Just focus on your goals and accomplish every small goal one by one. If you can do so, you don't need any external support. You'll be your own weight loss guru then!

© 2013 Imtiaz Ibne Alam


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      Imtiaz Ibne Alam 22 months ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

      @Peter, thanks for expressing your views about the realistic weight loss goals. Yes, uncertainty is an issue, as we don't know what lies ahead of us. But that's a lame excuse for giving up! You should know that individuals who overcome all the difficulties of their life are ultimately called the achievers.

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      Peter Hance 22 months ago

      Good stuff! But sorry to say creating as well as following a realistic plan isn't that realistic . We all know that we need to do something better in order to stick with the plan... Unfortunately, uncertainty is a big factor here, because you don't know when you'll face a new challenge in your everyday life.